An anthropology professor at the University of Delaware has been fired for saying Otto Warmbier, the 22-year-old student jailed in North Korea for 17 months and sent back to the U.S. in a coma where he died days later, “got exactly what he deserved.”
The university said in a statement that adjunct professor Katherine Dettwyler’s comments “do not reflect the values or positions of the University of Delaware.”
“We condemn any and all messages that endorse hatred and convey insensitivity toward a tragic event such as the one that Otto Warmbier and his family suffered,” the statement continued. “The University of Delaware values respect and civility and we are committed to global education and study abroad; therefore we find these comments particularly distressing and inconsistent with our values. Our sympathies are with the Warmbier family.”
In her now-deleted Facebook post aimed at Warmbier, Dettwyler stated in part:
“His parents ultimately are to blame for his growing up thinking he could get away with whatever he wanted. Maybe in the U.S., where young, white, rich, clueless white males routinely get away with raping women, not so much in North Korea. And of course, it’s Ottos’ parents who will pay the price for the rest of their lives.”
Before his death, Warmbier remained imprisoned and sentenced to 15 years hard labor in North Korea for stealing a propaganda poster; a “crime” against the state. Warmbier’s father criticized President Obama for telling the family to lay low while the federal government sorted it all out, but thanked President Trump for actually doing something about it, although it was too late.
There have been no details released about how Warmbier was put into a coma and how long he was in that state.
But it’s nice to see a university stand up against a bully professor spouting intolerance.